An original James Braid designed course • Established in 1891
Peter Thomson (1929 - 2018)
To some who might be termed 'golf's faithful', links is the real golf. To explain this is not simple: the easiest way out is to put forth the point that links golf is the highest of golf's many exhilarating experiences. Lying, perhaps lurking, in a links is the most demanding golf challenge of all. Pushing out into a stiff wind in an arena with no protection, needs a strong resolve and stout heart. It takes a deal of energy too. Newcomers to links golf often find that many normalities are missing.
For one thing there are no high corridors of trees to frame a fairway. It is common enough to be driving over a ridge with nothing but a white post on the skyline to give a clue to what is beyond. Hazards in the form of bunkers, are hidden from sight, which makes them more daunting than normal.
Another aspect of links golf that remains unappreciated is the meanness of turf grass. The ball never sits up. For the most part, lies are tight and therefore unhelpful when there are problems ahead. Links turf is different to park grasses. It is usually hard and bare, which gives the ball bounce - something that has to be imagined and allowed for. These items plus many more make links golf different and precious to the game.
One of my favourite links is Brora on the Moray Firth, where the golfers share a precious piece of territory with a hundred or so woolly sheep. What could epitomise nature better than such a communion? I pray it will continue and last as long as the world.